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Shirui Lily Festival 2022 kicks off with exuberance

Governor of Manipur, La Ganesan speaking at the inaugural function

“The Shirui Lily festival is celebrated annually in Manipur and features music, food, traditional games and other cultural activities. It also aims to spread awareness about this rare flower and develop sustainable and responsible tourism in Manipur”, said Governor of Manipur La Ganesan.

TFM Ukhrul Correspondent

The Governor of Manipur La Ganesan inaugurated the 4th edition of Shirui Lily festival at Heritage Centre Vangayan Shirui village on Wednesday. The inaugural programme was attended by chief minister N Biren Singh as President, Chairman HAC and Minister and MLAs of Ukhrul as Guests of Honour and Ministers and MLAs of Manipur as special invitees.

Despite the inclement weather, the four-day festival begins with 35 Assam Rifles band party playing the national anthem followed by trumpeting by Guru AS Rawung (NEZCC Awardeee).

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the 4th edition of Shirui Lily Festival 2022, Governor La Ganesan stated, “The Shirui Lily festival is celebrated annually in Manipur and features music, food, traditional games and other cultural activities. It also aims to spread awareness about this rare flower and develop sustainable and responsible tourism in Manipur. Because of its rarity, it has now become a well known plant”.

Mithun on display at a stall

The governor mentioned the the Lily which flowers at late May and early June is one of the rarest flower in the world, He stressed on the need for a proper scientific study on the flower, so that this lily can continue to thrive in its natural habitat. “I am glad that ICAR has taken the tissue culture of this plant and I hope that it will perpetuate this plant not only in the original habitat but also in the laboratory conditions. The focus on the global warming and climate change has impact on the Lily including remedial measures is laudable and I too feel that it is most timely. The festival, if marketed properly can become a tourist attraction. It will not only create awareness about the need of protection of our environment which need to be targeted to all our own people to attract tourists which will not only improve the well being of the local population but can also bring advanced knowledge and expertise to improve the environment. Not only the Lily, but the Shirui ridge during the winter can be marketed for tourists. I hope greater awareness prevails and the lilies allowed to bloom”, said the governor. The governor also lauded chief minister N Biren Singh for bringing this festival to the state Level.

CM N Biren Singh in his presidential speech stated that “when the BJP- led Government was formed for the first time in Manipur and when the Tangkhul community felicitated me in 2017, it was decided to upgrade the Shirui Lily Festival as a state level festival. We have witnessed a rock band coming from America and performing in the past Shirui Lily Festival, just before the Covid pandemic. Unfortunately, we could not celebrate it in the last two years because of Covid pandemic”.

The chief minister also appreciated the Tangkhul community for supporting the state government’s war against drug and illegal plantation of poppy. “I was very happy on that day, when the Tangkhuls led by the President of Tangkhul Naga Long along with leaders and representatives of Tangkhul Civil Society came to my office and voluntarily announced their support to the movement. After this, most of the communities from other district have come forward following the footstep of Tangkhul community. We will surely overcome this war together”, he said.

The chief minister also said, “Manipur is a small state but we are surrounded by rich resources. There is Haofą – indigenous canine breed, Longpi pottery and rearing of mithun. Haofă is almost on the verge of extinction but recently I came to know in social media that there are few individuals who are rearing sincerely to preserve and protect the dwindling numbers. Haofą is like by everyone because of its loyalty, hunting skill, powerful sense of smell, strong and courageous. I would like to request the MLAs to support and popularise the various indigenous breed of Manipur”.

There was a display of Haofą by Phungcham Haofa Lovers Assocaition. The Governor and CM along with the Minsiters and MLA visited the stall and urged for protection and popularization of the indigenous canine breed.

“This festival is not only about the Lily, it encompasses and embrace the oneness of India. If the people are reasonable with the land compensation, if there is no problem in contract work, if there is no tax collection from various parties and if we give the work to the most capable company, the proposed Heritage project at Shirui village can be completed before the next edition of Shirui Lily Festival,” he added.

The inaugural function was attended host of Ministers  Th Biswajit Singh, Khashim Vashum and Letpao Haokip. Chairman of HAC, Dipu Gangmei and the MLAs are Leishiyo Keishing, Th. Radheshyam, Ramnganing Muivah, S.Kebi Devi, K. Raghumani Singh, Sheikh Noorul Hassan and community leaders of Tangkhul.

On May 26, Seeding Run for MTB Downhill Hardtail Category will begin and on May 27, Seeding Run For MTB Downhill Full Suspension Category.  May 28 will be Final Run for MTB Downhill Hardtail and Full suspension category. The race will be conducted between 12:00 pm till 4:00 pm everyday at Phangrei. Covering a track of 1.6 kms of diverse tracks of grass, forest section, rocky section, root sections, wooden berms, kicker and drop jumps. “Nelson Hoover, certified Advanced Mountain Bike coach from Ministry of Defence will be the race director” informed Shangcham Shangjam of Chiko Adventure. A total of 24 riders from Manipur, Meghalaya, Assam and Nagaland are participating in the 4th MTB Downhill.

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